John Gruber, 1936-2018

John Gruber, founder of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, died on October 9, 2018. His influence on the field of railroad photography is impossible to overstate, from his own paradigm-shifting black-and-white work beginning in the 1960s to his 2018 book that reexamines the lives and photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Beyond his own luminous work, Gruber shined a spotlight on other notable photographers while also encouraging young and emerging practitioners. Classic Trains magazine dubbed him a “provocateur of railroad photography” in a 2014 profile by Kevin Keefe. There would be no Center without Gruber’s vision and tireless efforts, and all of us here stand always on his shoulders. Photograph by Henry A. Koshollek

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2019 Conferences

Save these dates for our 2019 conferences. The schedule is different than usual due to the sesquicentennial of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and programming related to our After Promontory project.

Conversations Transcontinental will be held March 29–30, 2019, at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Provo, Utah, in conjunction with the opening of our After Promontory exhibition. Registrations will open on January 2, 2019.

Conversations 2019 will be held September 13–15, 2019, at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, thirty miles north of Chicago. Registrations will open on May 1, 2019.

Check back here for more details, including information about possible additional events in conjunction with other venues hosting our After Promontory exhibition.

Friday Night Reception

Beebe & Clegg second printing

Our most recent book, Beebe and Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy by John Gruber and John Ryan assisted by Mel Patrick, sold out its initial printing in just four months. The second printing is now available and with a cover price of $65; we will offer the original price of $59.95 through the end of the calendar year.

The book tells about how partners Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg introduced railroad photography and the world of railroading to wide popular audiences. The authors bring the best of Beebe and Clegg’s photographic work together in one book for the first time, using high quality duotone printing. A companion exhibition opened on September 21, 2018, at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, where it will be on display until March 31, 2019.

Fred Springer’s Austria and Czech Railways

A new album from our Fred M. Springer Collection  is available online. Featuring images from Springer’s travels to Austria and Czech Republic, the album includes this image a worker hanging on to the front of Pinzgauer local train diesel passenger locomotive no. 2095.01 in Krimml, Salzburg, Austria, on May 18, 2001.

Springer Collection Overview

  • Gift of Fred and Dale Springer
  • 8,000 B&W negatives
  • 50,000 color slides
  • 1940s to 2000s
  • Coverage includes six inhabited continents, and especially the southwestern United States, Mexico, and South America

Ted Rose’s Mexican Railways

A new album from our Ted Rose Collection is available online. This album showcases Rose’s atmospheric images of steam operations in Mexico during 1960 and 1961. Special thanks go to Rose’s friend and fellow adventurer, Robert Ludwig, who drew from his own memories, notes, and photographs to identify many of the images in this album. You can view the whole album here: http://www.railphoto-art.org/collections/rose/mexican-railways/

In this Rose image, National Railways of Mexico 2-8-2 no. 2209 leads a southbound freight train up the grade up to Zacatecas, Mexico on August 17, 1961.

Rose Collection Overview

  • Gift of Polly Rose
  • 4,400 black-and-white prints and negatives
  • 1950s and 1960s action shots of steam locomotives
  • Coverage focuses on the late steam-era in the midwestern United States, Mexico, the Canadian Prairies, and Guatemala